Tuesday, June 07, 2022

I Believe In Love

I wrote this as part of my and my partner's wedding this past weekend.  It briefly tells the story of my deconstruction and finding a new creed that I still hold as the foundation of my spirituality.

I was born to be a preacher. At least, there was a long period of my life where I thought I was. My grandfather had been one, and I would follow in his footsteps. I studied to become one. I started the career path by working for four years as a youth and children’s minister. I was good at it, and I got to fly around the country preaching at youth events and performing as a mad scientist who used crazy antics to teach in Children’s church. I was on the path heading toward my destiny.

I grew up to be a preacher. But I could not remain one. I was not made to fit the box that heritage asked me to contort myself into. More importantly, I could not fit the vastness of my understanding of God into such a diminutive box. So as one chasing God, I followed where that journey led, and one day realized I was dispossessed no longer having a homeland in the faith of my youth.

I was once a preacher. Christianity, its scriptures, strictures, and creeds were the mother tongue of my relationship with God, but in the new wilderness my journey had led me to, I needed a new language. I needed a new creed. I no longer fit inside their story; so I needed words that would start to speak of the vastness of the God I had found in this vast spiritual wilderness I was a refugee in.

I deconstructed everything I had preached. I started with the most basic truth of Christianity, the piece of their canon that shined so true in the radiance of its truth. I started with the words, “God is love.” That was the entirety of the New Testament story distilled. I knew despite not being able to state anything else with surety I could say, "I believe in Love."

Over more wandering, and more wondering I added two more lines to this small creed that was at the same time the tiniest spark of spiritual light I could kindle, and also encapsulated the vastness of the God I was seeing in the universe. My creed became, "I believe in Love; Told in Story; Lived in Community."

The plaque with the creed was a wedding gift commissioned by our sister-in-law Ashley Baugh Tanner and made by my partner's amazing artistic friend Brittany Demetrulas.

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